Matt, Mothers Day is two days away. A day I once enjoyed with the women in our family. Mothers like me. I would spend weeks getting my gardens ready, giving the deck a good cleaning and preparing a feast of crabs and beer. There is no celebration for me today, no crabs, beer or company. Only a deep pain that nothing will cure.
No card or gift has the power to fill the void left by your absence. This is my eighth Mother’s Day without you and I’m still learning how to breathe. I foolishly thought my heart was strong enough to handle my reality.
My youngest son gone forever. Your demons more powerful than your mother’s love. I realize now that my heart will never be the same. Surviving all the firsts means nothing to me. My heart remains broken beyond repair. This day will remain as a painful reminder that our family is forever changed.
Today I will give myself a gift. I will allow myself the luxury of tears, tears that I hide from the world will be allowed on this most painful day. Tears will come as I close my eyes and remember you as a young boy. Bouncing through the door. Your face full of pride. Your handmade gift of popsicle sticks painted the colors of beautiful flowers. Your smile filled my heart with joy. You, always so proud of what you made, found or bought for your mom.
Nothing changed as you aged. You always remembered. A card, flowers or a surprise visit. Your body now of a man, but your heart forever young. You were never afraid to hug or say those words,
“Love you Mom”. We had a bond like no other. Our connecting cord never cut, just stretched by the distance between us. You living your life by the sea, away from home but never away from my heart.
Now I’m left with precious memories. Cards from Mother’s Day long ago. Treasured pieces of paper signed by you. I run my finger along your words and remember teaching you how to write.
Never thinking that one day your unique signature would be something left behind that would bring both joy and unbearable pain to my already broken heart. Mother’s Day cards now so precious, knowing that there will be no more.
Mother’s Day, once a day I loved and looked forward to has turned into a day I’d rather forget. I remember the pain of bringing you into this world, I pray I survive the pain of knowing you are gone. If my love had been enough, you would be here sitting beside me surrounded by our family. We would be laughing and hugging. Crabs and beer filling our plates. Stories would be shared as we celebrated three generations of mothers all here sharing the joys of our special day with the children we love.
But today, I will spend time alone. I will allow the memories to overflow in my mind as my tears come without shame. I will close my eyes and see your smiling face. I will talk to you as if you are next to me. I will wonder if you remember.
I will reaffirm that I will always be your mother, wherever you now live. I pray you will let me feel you with me today. Let me feel your warmth shine down on my face. Be the rays of the sun, hugging my body with your warmth. Be a puffy white cloud or a cardinal in my garden. Be with me in spirit as I remember your love as both a child and a man. My love for you lives on forever. A mother learning to live with a broken heart on her special day. Learning how to live without her child. One moment, one step, one heart beat at a time.